Fun with Anonymums

Sadly, I’m nearing the end of Be My Guest August, and I hope you’ll agree that it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had a ball!

Today’s very special guest is the most lovely Jess from Whoa, Mamma! whose been kind enough to share her thoughts on a wonderful book by the adventurous, secretive and refreshingly honest Anonymums. Thanks heaps Jess…

ANONYMUMS by the Anonymums
It was with great delight and excitement that I accepted an offer from the wonderful Mandi of ‘That Book You Like’ to contribute a guest post. I love Mandi’s sweet blog, dedicated to celebrating the love of the written word, fabulous cultural events and all things ‘bookish.’

Growing up, I always had my head in a book, and a journal by my bed to scribble away my life’s events. I loved reading and writing and I thought that I would grow up to be a writer myself, one day. Still dreaming.

Fast forward to Marriage and Motherhood, 3 daughters later. The last book that I had read that was over 10 pages long was a ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ pregnancy-type book.  I longed to read books again, but being a mum, it was so hard to find a block of time where I wouldn’t/couldn’t be interrupted.

When Mandi offered me an opportunity to contribute to ‘That Book You Like’ I jumped at the chance. What a fabulous opportunity to get back to my love of books. What to read, what to read? I began with the intention to review a novel but in all honesty, with so many mummy-interruptions it was getting hard to immerse myself in the story.

Then I had an ‘A-ha!’ moment and rubbed my hands with glee. I knew exactly what I wanted to read and review for you all. So last weekend I joyously ventured out to the bookshops once again, eagerly seeking a book that had long been on my wish list; Anonymums, by the Anonymums.

Anonymums (Harper Collins, 2011) is a fabulous and hilarious ‘real life’ account of  the Motherhood Experience as shared by three ‘anonymous’ mothers (hence the title), Mum A, Mum B and Mum C. All we know about the ‘Anonymums’ is that they are three married, Aussie mothers who write Blogs.

This immediately appealed to me, as I myself had just started blogging, joining a community of hundreds, if not thousands, of Mothers That Blog.

I popped a DVD on for the kids, told them Mummy needs “mummy-time”, made myself a pot of coffee, stroked the glossy cover, inhaled the scent of the lovely papery pages, smiled with bliss, and began…. 

The premise of the book is this. Mum A, reflecting on what her life has become and, in all honesty, slightly bored with it, devises an experiment to re-evaluate and re-invigorate her life, to reconnect with the woman she was BC (Before Children).

“…the bottom line was I wasn’t happy with me. The truth was, I could barely remember who ‘me’ was, anyway.

I had to do something to reclaim my identity. And fast.

It was time to spice things up a bit. To reconnect with whatever was left of me before it was too late” – Mum A

She enlists two worthy and very eager accomplices in Mum B and Mum C who are sworn to secrecy. Mums B and C are also ready to make big changes to their lives.  They correspond via secret emails and assume their Secret Identities as the ‘Anonymums’.

“I sometimes feel that a walking-talking MumATron has taken up residence in the girl I used to be and stuffed her in a small hole deep inside my body. Every once in a while I hear her screaming to be let out, but there’s just no room for her in the scheduled chaos that is my current life”- Mum B 

Over an agreed period of 3 months, they begin their covert operation to spice up each other’s lives.  All three mothers undertake cheeky ‘Truth’ and  ‘Dare’ challenges set by the other mothers, then once the tasks have been completed, each mother has to undertake her own Big Dare. After each task, each mum evaluates and shares how the experience has changed, affected or enhanced her life.

The results are hilarious and poignant. The Dares (involving Fire-engine Red Lipstick, Santa’s lap, and a whole lot of wax strips, youch!) force the Anonymums out of their comfort zones, giving them unexpected thrills and re-invigorating their lives and their outlook on Motherhood and Womanhood. The Truth Challenges lead to self-reflection, self-evaluation and even an epiphany or two.

I loved this book and could not put it down. I read it while stirring the Bolognese, I read it in between bathing the children. I was laughing out loud,  yelling out ‘Hallelujah!’ and ‘Amen!’. I may even have turned my back on my husband in bed and said ‘Not tonight, darling, I’m reading’.

There is a Freedom in Anonymity that brings with it the courage to tell the truth without fear of being judged.  Anonymity gives one the courage to talk about real feelings, and not have to keep up the pretence that Motherhood is always wonderful. Many women, if not most women, feel pressured to be the ‘perfect’ wife and mother.  Anonymums is everything that you wanted to know about Motherhood but were afraid to ask, and everything that you really feel about Motherhood, but were afraid to say out loud lest you be judged.

Anonymums was like holding up a mirror to my face. My life and my inner-most thoughts were reflected amongst the pages. This book was not just about the ‘Anonymums’, it is about  Every Mum.

The ‘Anonymums’ lives changed over the course of 3 months. My life changed over the course of one book.

Hilarious, inspiring  and life-enhancing. If you’re stuck in a Mummy Rut, you need Anonymums. If you have a friend who’s a mum, she needs Anonymums. After reading this book, you’ll not only feel like you’ve made a new friend, but 3 new friends. Thank you, ‘Anonymums’! I’m off to buy some red lippie.

***

Jess is one of my favourite mummy-bloggers, and her blog Whoa, Mamma! is fun, stylish and insightful. I’ll admit, it was her Grinderman coffee cup that first caught my eye. Her blog is full of great pics and wonderful observations. Please pop by and visit, you’ll have fun, I promise!

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